What to Expect

The Metagame Review for LAIC 2019, Part 1
pokemonscreenshots.tumblr.com
(Eye protection is advised for viewing the Eclipse meta.)

Howdy, SixPrizes! LAIC is getting closer and closer, and I feel that the players are not quite sure what the format will look like or what they will play in this big tournament. With that in mind, I decided to review the metagame based on my training and testing to help all players who are not sure what to expect from the Standard format with the arrival of Cosmic Eclipse.

Talking about the whole metagame is a very long subject, so I decided to split into two parts. In Part 1 (today) I will talk about the decks that caught my attention and then in Part 2 (next week) I will talk about the decks that can surprise the metagame.

Let’s head into the article.

GardEon

GardEon has gotten even better with the arrival of Chaotic Swell to help prevent Fairy Charms from being disabled by Lysandre Labs. In addition, the deck now has all the consistency of Tag Call, Cynthia & Caitlin, Guzma & Hala, and Mallow & Lana.

The List

Pokémon (5)

4 Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX
1 Xerneas-GX

Trainer (45)

4 Green’s Exploration
3 Cynthia & Caitlin
2 Mallow & Lana

1 Faba

1 Guzma & Hala

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Pokégear 3.0
4 Tag Call

3 Reset Stamp

2 Energy Spinner
2 Switch
2 Tag Switch

1 Cherish Ball
1 Great Catcher
1 Choice Helmet

1 Fairy Charm Ability
1 Fairy Charm UB
1 Fairy Charm N
1 Fairy Charm L

1 Fairy Charm P

 

3 Power Plant
2 Chaotic Swell

Energy (10)

8 Y
2 Draw

Key Cards

1 Xerneas-GX, 1 Cherish Ball

I see some lists cutting Xerneas-GX from the deck for the new Tool Island Challenge Amulet. In theory, both Xerneas-GX and Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX with Island Challenge Amulet surrender only 2 Prizes when Knocked Out, forcing the opponent to Knock Out 3 Pokémon to draw all of their Prizes. In practice, Island Challenge Amulet didn’t work as well as I would have liked, and Xerneas-GX turned out to be much better than just a 2-Prize offering.

Sanctuary-GX is still very strong, capable of healing all damage on your board and hitting for extremely high damage, sometimes even enough to Knock Out a TAG TEAM Pokémon.

3 Cynthia & Caitlin

Cynthia & Caitlin is worse than Coach Trainer, but it can be found with Tag Call, which greatly increases your chances of always having a draw Supporter available when needed. In addition, Cynthia & Caitlin allows you to return a Supporter from your discard to your hand, so you will have a Supporter for next turn.

1 Guzma & Hala

Also searchable with Tag Call, Guzma & Hala is good on the first turn of the game to find a

  1. Fairy Charm,
  2. Chaotic Swell (to protect from Lysandre Labs), and
  3. Draw Energy (to attack with Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX).

2 Mallow & Lana

Mallow & Lana is a mandatory Supporter if you want to have a good chance of beating Malamar/Giratina in the current meta. In addition to the healing effect, it can simply switch your Pokémon, which is always useful. And, of course, it can be found with Tag Call.

1 Faba

Faba is a key card for breaking Chaotic Swells in Keldeo-GX decks and thus being able to stick a Power Plant on the board and hit Keldeo-GX. Additionally, it may be helpful to remove annoying Tools like Choice Helmet and Island Challenge Amulet.

4 Tag Call

Maximizing the Tag Call count solves two problems for the deck, especially on the first turn of the game, which are

  1. to find for other Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX to energize them and
  2. some Supporter to start developing my game.

Plus, with 4 Tag Call, I increase the chances of finding Mallow & Lana just when I need it.

2 Draw Energy

Draw Energy is good because Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX’s Fairy Song attack needs only 1 C Energy. The effect of drawing a card is no big deal, but Draw Energy’s differential is that it can be found with Guzma & Hala.

2 Chaotic Swell

This Stadium fits perfectly into GardEon as it provides the function of protecting Fairy Charm against opponents’ Lysandre Labs.

Malamar/Giratina

Malamar/Giratina always seems to be a good option until the metagame evolves and is properly prepared to deal with the constant 130 damage caused by Giratina LOT. At this time, Malamar/Giratina is hyped as it has gained new cards like…

It was a good deck that got even better.

The List

Pokémon (19)

4 Jirachi TEU
4 Inkay FLI
4 Malamar FLI
2 Giratina LOT

1 Blacephalon CEC
1 Mimikyu CEC 97
1 Mew UNB
1 Ditto p
1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

Trainer (33)

4 Cynthia

4 Lillie
1 Rosa

 

4 Acro Bike
4 Mysterious Treasure
3 Pokémon Communication
3 Switch

2 Great Catcher

3 Spell Tag
2 Escape Board

 

3 Viridian Forest

Energy (8)

7 P
1 Recycle

Key Cards

1 Blacephalon CEC

Blacephalon CEC fits in Malamar decks to do a little better than Espeon & Deoxys-GX did before. The main advantages of Blacephalon CEC are that it is a non-Pokémon-GX and its attack costs only 2 Energies.

In addition to being critical in the Malamar mirror, and a possibly good attacker against Pidgeotto Control, Fireworks Bomb deals 12 damage counters when the opponent has 3 Prizes remaining, which makes it capable of taking multiple knockouts with the help of Spell Tag.

1 Mimikyu CEC 97

Its Ability Shadow Box causes a huge headache for Mew Box decks, forcing players to adapt their lists to deal with Mimikyu or abandon the matchup altogether. I believe players will respect Mimikyu very much and use Stealthy Hood if necessary.

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

As I said before, Blacephalon is performing the same function as Espeon & Deoxys-GX, so I decided to include Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX in its place (as our Pokémon-GX).

Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX can deal more damage than the usual 130 dealt by Giratina LOT with Jumping Balloon, and Puffy Smashers-GX is capable of hitting for 200 on an opposing Benched Pokémon.

1 Rosa

Rosa is an amazing Supporter for the mid game. In Malamar, I have no difficulty doing the initial setup, and at the end of the game, the deck is thinned and board is stabilized. The biggest problem I feel with Malamar is between turns 2 and 4, when the opponent is already attacking and you have used a lot of resources to set up. Rosa allows you to take three more resources, ensuring the upkeep of your board.

2 Great Catcher

Malamar is a 2-hit KO deck against Pokémon-GX decks in general, and before the arrival of the Great Catcher it was only possible to finish a knockout with the help of Espurr UNB and Espeon & Deoxys-GX. Now, we can simply use Great Catcher and finish a Giratina LOT knockout. This is much easier and more consistent than before.

Pidgeotto Control

The List

Pokémon (20)

4 Jirachi TEU

3 Pidgey TEU 122

1 Pidgey TEU 121

4 Pidgeotto TEU
4 Oranguru UPR
2 Articuno-GX
1 Ditto p
1 Absol TEU

Trainer (36)

4 Professor Elm’s Lecture

2 Lt. Surge’s Strategy

2 Mars
2 Tate & Liza

1 Bellelba & Brycen-Man
1 Hapu
1 Jessie & James

 

4 Acro Bike

4 Crushing Hammer

3 Custom Catcher

3 Pokégear 3.0
2 Chip-Chip Ice Axe

2 Reset Stamp

1 Pal Pad
1 Escape Board

 

2 Power Plant
1 Sky Pillar

Energy (4)

3 W
1 Recycle

Key Cards

4 Jirachi TEU

I really like Jirachi in this deck and I think it is well suited for the deck’s strategy. The main goal of Pidgeotto Control is to draw as many cards as possible from the deck and keep only the essential cards in order to lock the opponent. So far this is no secret to anyone.

Jirachi isn’t only the perfect starter, but Stellar Wish is superior to Air Mail for consistency, as it allows you to look at more cards from the top of your deck. But that doesn’t mean we have to choose one or the other; we can use Stellar Wish and Air Mail at the same time and thus further filter the deck and draw the necessary cards in less time.

To beat Pidgeotto Control, the opponent must be faster—by drawing Prizes or disrupting the accumulation of cards in hand with Judge and Reset Stamp. Jirachi will help in both cases. It will speed up the filtering of the deck and fill the hand with the cards needed to complete the lock at the end of the game.

1 Hapu

If there’s a deck that doesn’t suffer from discarded cards, it’s Pidgeotto Control, thanks to Oranguru UPR, the deck’s main attacker. I like Hapu to exhaust 6 cards from the deck (while still keeping 2). Keep in mind that the goal is to have a very thin deck.

1 Bellelba & Brycen-Man

This card arrived with big hype for this deck, but in my view it’s just a good card. It does not help in setup and also does not help to lock the opponent, so you will not want to use it often—only when your entire strategy of locking the opponent has been realized. I believe it is a necessary card in order to accelerate the opponent’s defeat when they are already locked and out of a hand.

Pidgeotto Control games take a long time, especially if your opponent adopts a passive stance. Bellelba & Brycen-Man enters at this point, and can shorten a game that might otherwise last 40–45 minutes to instead 25–30 minutes.

Of course, it can also have an interesting effect and may discard important resources from the opponent, but you are not sure that you will discard good cards. Bellelba & Brycen-Man can have a negative effect, discarding the opponent’s useless cards and keeping only the good ones. In that case, you would be contributing to your own defeat.

1 Sky Pillar

There is a very effective type of strategy against Pidgeotto Control, which is to spread damage counters on the board and take multiple knockouts at once, preying on the birds’ low HP. The main villains who employ this strategy are Mew UNB, Blacephalon CEC, and Espeon & Deoxys-GX. I believe Sky Pillar is well suited to stop these Pokémon.

In addition to these, Sky Pillar can prevent PikaRom-GX’s Tag Bolt-GX and ReshiRom-GX’s Cross Break-GX.

Charizard & Braixen (Green’s)

The List

Pokémon (8)

4 Volcanion UNB
2 Charizard & Braixen-GX
1 Reshiram & Charizard-GX
1 Weezing HIF

Trainer (41)

4 Green’s Exploration
4 Welder
2 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Jessie & James
2 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Custom Catcher

4 Pokégear 3.0

3 Fire Crystal

3 Reset Stamp
3 Tag Call
2 Switch

1 Chip-Chip Ice Axe

1 Energy Spinner
1 Fiery Flint

1 Great Catcher
1 Choice Helmet

 

3 Power Plant

Energy (11)

11 R

Key Cards

2 Charizard & Braixen-GX

Chalk up one more strong card for the Fire type. Brilliant Flare hits for 180 damage and searches for any 3 cards in the deck. This opens the door for strong plays that rely on 3 or more cards at the same time, such as Reset Stamp + Jessie & James + Weezing HIF + Chip-Chip Ice Axe. But of course, in addition to this type of play, being able to look for any 3 cards in the deck is always very good.

Crimson Flame Pillar-GX is a great GX attack, which attaches 5 discarded basic Energies onto your Pokémon in any way you like, and leaves the opponent’s Active Burned and Confused (with plus bonus). This attack helps a lot against Control decks like Pidgeotto Control.

2 Jessie & James, 1 Weezing HIF, 1 Chip-Chip Ice Axe

At first I tested this idea just as a fun experiment. I didn’t think it would have competitive potential because you have to combine so many cards at the same time, which can be undone by Reset Stamp and also foiled because opponents will expect this move from Charizard & Braixen-GX decks. But then I realized that it was still an important option, and that opponents would have to respect this move, even though it might not happen.

Against Pidgeotto Control I find the match favorable because throughout the game you discard cards from your opponent’s hand and disrupt their setup and strong plays. Discarding 3 cards from the opponent’s hand is practically the old Supporter Delinquent, and many of us remember how impactful Delinquent was.

1 Choice Helmet

The main reason for Choice Helmet is that it can help you stay alive against ReshiRom, but along with Mallow & Lana, Choice Helmet can help Charizard & Braixen-GX survive against a variety of situations and matchups, such as Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX.

Mew Box

The List

Pokémon (14)

3 Mewtwo & Mew-GX
1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX
1 Charizard & Braixen-GX
1 Espeon & Deoxys-GX
1 Magcargo-GX
1 Solgaleo-GX SM104
1 Charizard-GX HIF
1 Naganadel-GX UNM
1 Greninja-GX SM197
3 Dedenne-GX

Trainer (33)

4 Welder
1 Cynthia & Caitlin
1 Guzma & Hala
1 Mallow & Lana

 

4 Cherish Ball

3 Acro Bike

3 Pokégear 3.0
3 Tag Call

2 Great Catcher
2 Reset Stamp
2 Switch
1 Energy Recycle System
1 Choice Helmet
1 Stealthy Hood

 

3 Giant Hearth
1 Viridian Forest

Energy (13)

8 R
2 P

2 Weakness Guard
1 W

Key Cards

1 Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX

Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX has the opportunity to punish the opponent if they play a lot of Pokémon-GX and try to be very aggressive. Turbo ReshiRom decks tend to play many Pokémon-GXs like Dedenne-GX and Rayquaza-GX to hit 270 with Fabled Flarebolts in consecutive turns.

1 Charizard & Braixen-GX

Charizard & Braixen-GX followed by Mallow & Lana is a great tech against Malamar/Giratina as it will Knock Out Giratina LOT while looking for resources to pull off Espeon & Deoxys-GX’s Cross Division-GX attack.

ChariXen is also a great attacker against GardEon as there is no Fairy Charm R and it forces the opponent to use Reset Stamp every time you Brilliant Flare.

1 Greninja-GX SM197, 1 W Energy

This is the best way to go if you want to have a good chance against Arceus/Keldeo-GX decks (along with Mallow & Lana to heal from their attacks).

1 Cynthia & Caitlin

With easy access due to Tag Call, Cynthia & Caitlin is a safe option to draw cards and recover Welder for the next turn.

1 Guzma & Hala

Guzma & Hala makes the mission of assembling a Mewtwo & Mew-GX with Weakness Guard Energy + Stealthy Hood much easier. Also, it’s good to be able to find a Stadium to break Power Plant or even find Choice Helmet to deal with ReshiRom.

1 Mallow & Lana

Mallow & Lana is needed to deal with Malamar/Giratina as I see it, as Malamar/Giratina has gained even more power against Pokémon-GX decks. Besides, I like the easy access thanks to Tag Call.

1 Choice Helmet

I already use a copy of Guzma & Hala to search for Stealthy Hood, so I decide to include Choice Helmet to deal with ReshiRom. In practice, the Choice Helmet has proven to be very helpful against ReshiRom and it has helped me several other times as well.

1 Stealthy Hood

Stealthy Hood only serves against Malamar/Giratina to stop Mimikyu CEC 97, but I believe it is necessary. You are unlikely to use it in other games, but you may end up using it to stop Ninetales TEU or Volcarona-GX.

2 Weakness Guard Energy

This Energy is critical for dealing with Malamar/Giratina and mirror.

Final Thoughts

pokemonkorea.co.kr

I believe the Turbo decks will have a hard time dealing with Malamar/Giratina, Pidgeotto, and even Green’s decks (like GardEon and Charizard & Braixen) due to the Reset Stamp + Power Plant combo. You need to slow down these decks by adding more control and containment cards like Guzma & Hala and Mallow & Lana. Of course, a Turbo deck may have advantages over slightly slower TAG TEAM decks, like Mew Box with a lot of tech cards, but I believe, considering the overall metagame, it is worth having a more versatile deck to handle many matchups.

The metagame is open and new strategies have come with Cosmic Eclipse; it’s not just being fast and aggressive.

In my next article I will be looking at the missing decks to compose our LAIC 🇧🇷 metagame. Below is my traditional tier list.

Tier List

Tier 1

Tier 1.5

Tier 2

  • Dark Box
  • ReshiRom
  • ReshiZard (Ability)

I hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you back next week for the second part of this article!


…and that will conclude this Unlocked Underground article.

After 45 days, we unlock each Underground (UG/★) article for public viewing. New articles are reserved for Underground members.

Underground Members: Thank you for making this article possible!

Other Readers: Check out the FAQ if you are interested in joining Underground and gaining full access to our latest content.


Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in. Legacy discussion: 0